Man Saved Own Heart—Using Gardening Trick
Now more than 40 have undergone procedure
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Nov 24, 2013 6:40 AM CST
A British engineer decided to take his heart problem into his own hands.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A heart problem put a British engineer's life at risk for decades—but presented with surgery options, he was "unimpressed." So Tal Golesworthy, now 57, decided to take matters into his own hands, and the successful procedure he came up with has now helped more than 40 others, the BBC reports. Marfan syndrome can cause the aorta to slowly enlarge, putting it in danger of bursting. The traditional surgery sometimes requires metal valves to be placed inside the heart, which in turn requires a lifetime of blood-thinning meds; those can pose a serious risk if the patient falls. "I didn't want to have to live my life in a cotton-wool cocoon," Golesworthy says.

He looked at the issue as if it were a gardening problem: "If the hosepipe is bulging, I must get some insulation tape and wrap it round the outside of the hosepipe to stop it bulging. It's that crude and simple, and we have all done it in our gardens." He got help from a team of experts, who spent three years coming up with a mesh sleeve to wrap around the aorta. That made for simpler surgery that didn't require blood-thinning medication. The procedure was performed in 2004, his aorta still hasn't expanded. Now dozens have received the procedure; the youngest patient was just 16, the Express reports. One patient, however, didn't survive, the BBC notes; clinical trials may be on the horizon. (Another engineer is working on an interesting health issue: Bill Gates wants to come up with a better condom.)

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Engineer Saved Own Heart—Using Gardening Trick is...
1%
5%
0%
92%
1%
1%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 22 comments
Smitty6398
Nov 25, 2013 1:59 AM CST
I just underwent surgery to place a 3-piece stent into the lower portion of the AORTA (in the abdomen/groin area). The vessel had ballooned from 25mm to 55mm. The body of the stent was inserted into the aorta, anchored to the vessel walls, accessed through the femoral artery. Then, smaller individual stents were inserted through left and right femoral arteries and attached to the main body. I went home in a few (3-4) days. My heart health history began in 1976 {34 yr old} with the "Widowmaker", which, obviously I survived. Additional attacks in 1986; 1990 3 coronary artery bypass grafts; 2002; 2004 replaced 2 of the original bypasses with new ones; Sept. 2013 another artery blockage was treated by the insertion of my first arterial stent, a sonogram at this time detected the aortic aneurysm, which I had repaired in October. I smoked 1-1 1/2 packs of non-filtered Pall Mall cigarettes from 1959 to 1976, about 1/2 pack of a Menthol brand from 1984 to 1990 (I smoked my last one in 1990, as my daughter drove me to the ER). Shortly after my 2004 episode, I was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes. My Cardiologist, and 1 of his associates, through a stress test, believe that I have also had 2 additional heart attacks (which apparently even I didn't recognize as such); bringing my TOTAL to 7. All of my attacks occurred while I was sleeping or resting, setting & watching TV, etc. None occurred during physical exertion. I've now lost over 60% of my hearts pumping capability
TwoSheds
Nov 25, 2013 1:25 AM CST
I read this because I thought it would be about burying poop next to the eggplant
plain_speaking
Nov 24, 2013 6:02 PM CST
Love the simplicity...